First Responders
& Mental Health

Long hours, high stakes, traumatic events, life-threatening situations—the stressors of the work can take a toll on first responders. Helping others requires strength and bravery, and a “get the job done” mentality. These traits though can also lead to stigma around behavioral health challenges. Working through COVID-19 has also increased behavioral health challenges like depression, anxiety, PTSD, substance use disorders, and suicide among first responders. Find help from those who understand what it’s like. Scroll for more.

Depression, substance use disorder, PTSD, and suicidal ideation are all more common among first responders.


Depression, substance use disorder, PTSD, and suicidal ideation are all more common among first responders.

85% of first responders have shown signs of behavioral health challenges.<sup>22</sup>


85% of first responders have shown signs of behavioral health challenges.22

Depression and PTSD are 5 times more common among first responders.<sup>21</sup>


Depression and PTSD are 5 times more common among first responders.21

7 out 10 first responders said they would be open to behavioral health support if their leaders were open about their own experiences.<sup>23</sup>


7 out 10 first responders said they would be open to behavioral health support if their leaders were open about their own experiences.23

8 out 10 said they’d be more open about their challenges if their fellow first responders were open.<sup>24</sup>


8 out 10 said they’d be more open about their challenges if their fellow first responders were open.24

Learn More About Mental Health

Resources That Help

Get confidential, peer-to-peer behavioral health support from those who understand. Call 1-833-YU-FIRST or visit Fire Captain Ryan J. Mitchell’s First Responder Behavioral Health Support Program.

Use Our Resource Tool
The Access and Crisis Line at (888) 724-7240 provides support 24/7. Experienced counselors can answer questions about mental health and substance use, provide referrals, offer support and crisis intervention. In the case of a medical emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.
Suicide Prevention, Substances,
& Substance Use Disorders
There are many factors that can affect mental health. Get in-depth information and tips when it comes to suicide prevention, substances, and substance use disorders.
21 Heyman, Miriam, PhD, Dill, Jeff, MA, NBCC, Douglas, Robert, DCC, The Ruderman White Paper on Mental Health and Suicide of First RespondersApril 2018
22 University of Phoenix Survey Finds Majority of First Responders Have Experienced Symptoms Related to Mental Health Issues,” University of Phoenix press release, April 20, 2017
23 University of Phoenix Survey Finds Majority of First Responders Have Experienced Symptoms Related to Mental Health Issues,” University of Phoenix press release, April 20, 2017
24 University of Phoenix Survey Finds Majority of First Responders Have Experienced Symptoms Related to Mental Health Issues,” University of Phoenix press release, April 20, 2017